06/07/2010 | Maj. Gen. James B. Mallory III
From The Commanding General
As I reflect on the last 38 months in command I marvel at the accomplishments of the Soldiers of the 108th Training Command — but am not surprised. I knew that as we consolidated, reorganized and transformed Initial Entry Training units from six different DIVITs, each with their own proud legacy, that the whole would be greater than the sum of the parts. The leveraging of our collective experiences and capabilities has created a uniquely capable and flexible training organization. With hard work at every level you have increased qualified Drill Sergeant strength from less than 50 percent to nearly 90 percent, with 100 percent just within reach. Concurrent with massive reorganizations you have accomplished every mission: from our assigned training base expansion missions at the TRADOC Army Training Centers; to standing up and executing pre-deployment training at the Army Reserve Regional Training Centers; to training recalled IRR and over one-half of the individual augmentee Sailors at Task Force Marshall; to changing Sailors, Airmen and Marines into Soldiers at the Warrior Transition Course; to continued support with trainers in Iraq and Afghanistan; to establishing a new Office of Program Management in support of training Saudi Arabian facility protection forces; to training a new generation of future officers at the ROTC Warrior Forge and Leader Training Courses; to West Point support; and most recently a short fuse mission to establish the first female Afghan OCS program by a 100 percent female contingent of six of our Drill Sergeants, 1st Sgt. and company commander. Bottom line, you have done all required to establish your bona fides as an operational reserve; ready and able to train not only basic trainees, but Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen or Marines of any country, stateside or overseas.
A history of the 108th Division and Training Command will be published shortly that chronicles its contributions since its establishment in 1946, and by implication many of the other Training Divisions and Divisions (Institutional Training) that shared common missions.
Concurrent with accomplishing these missions in the midst of transformation, the staff of the 108th Training Command headquarters has consistently demonstrated excellence and innovation – receiving two awards for the Army Community of Excellence for special Training Command category; five DOD Family Readiness Awards for the USAR; two of seven Secretary of the Army Quality of Life Awards; nine straight Chief of Staff of the Army Legal Services Awards; the USARC Internal Review 2010 Award of Excellence for office of the year; and the 2010 Chief of Staff Combined Logistics Excellence Award for the Level 1(B) TDA units. Furthermore, 108th Training Command initiatives such as Fort Family and Operation Vanguard begun by the 95th Division are being adopted and adapted for application throughout the Army Reserve.
A history of the 108th Division and Training Command will be published shortly that chronicles its contributions since its establishment in 1946, and by implication many of the other Training Divisions and Divisions (Institutional Training) that shared common missions. The title of the book is self explanatory: The 108th Training Command – A History of Embracing Innovation and Shaping the Future. I recommend it to you not only as a historical chronicle but as a guide for leaders at all levels of the legacy of the 108th as a leader in innovation.
A few final thoughts. The challenge for the future is to continue to lean forward and seek out the most challenging missions for battle assemblies, annual training and mobilization while never taking your eye off of the ball of maintaining full Drill Sergeant and instructor strength. Remember that none of us have a reason to have a job but for Drill Sergeants on the trail and instructors on the bloc. Focus on decentralizing training and mission execution – the Army is an NCO world and that is especially true in the BCT environment.
Speaking of NCO’s I want to pay tribute to the many NCO’s who have been instrumental in developing me as a Soldier and leader, especially my NCO command teams of 1st Sgt. (Retired) Richard Barnes; Command Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Clyde Waddell; Command Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Dennis Nance; Command Sgt. Maj. Roxanne Castille, and my current battle buddy, Command Sgt. Maj. William “Joe” Payne. I also appreciate the mentoring of senior NCO’s such as Command Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Jack Miller; Command Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Johnny Dwiggins and Command Sgt. Maj. (Retired) Sam Rule, who provided sage advice and counsel throughout my career in many different capacities. Likewise, many civilian full time support have been instrumental in doing the hard day-to-day work to ensure the accomplishment of our vision of the Soldier and mission focused organization - from my first unit administrator Billy Woody, to Jack Green, Sue Keene, and Larry Cruz who together with a host of outstanding civil servants who have dedicated their lives to our organizations and missions.
The officers who I have been privileged to work for have inspired me to stretch and expect the very best of our Soldiers, from retired commanding generals of the 108th like Maj. Gen. (Retired) William Gantt; Maj. Gen. (Retired) Ron Sneed; Maj. Gen. (Retired) George Goldsmith; Maj. Gen. (Retired) Doug Robertson and Maj. Gen. (Retired) Skip McCartney. Due to space constraints I cannot hope to name the many other fine officers and friends, both in the 108th and other divisions and organizations, who I have had the privilege to work with and who have made this journey memorable and meaningful beyond my ability to articulate.
Finally, I want to pay tribute to my wife Mary and four children Bryan, McLain, Madison and Will, who together with a host of family and friends have supported and uplifted me in what has truly been a collective effort to enable me to spend time hanging with Soldiers.
In closing, I return to the mantra of the last three years – Accomplish the Mission, Take Care of Soldiers and their Families, and Live the Army Values while following the Golden Rule, in or out of uniform. I am proud to have been a part of this organization for 29 of my 33 years in uniform – but it is time to pass the torch to a new generation – and I will sleep well knowing you are out there continuing to protect the Nation. HOOAH!
Victory Starts Here!